We are seeking an experienced lawyer with a passion for human rights, equality and justice to support and manage the technical legal research components of our programme on legislative reform of criminal laws that discriminate against or fail to protect LGBT people and others across a range of Commonwealth countries, with a focus on sexual offences and hate crime legislation.
Position: Lawyer (research)
Type: Fixed term contract to 31 March 2021
Salary: £40,000-45,000 per annum, commensurate with experience
Location: London, UK, with remote working available
Reports to: Head of Legal
The Human Dignity Trust (the Trust) is a legal charity based in London, UK that supports local lawyers and human rights defenders to uphold human rights and constitutional law in countries where private, consensual same-sex sexual conduct is criminalised. At present, more than 70 jurisdictions worldwide maintain these criminal laws, a figure that is gradually decreasing due to a combination of litigation and legislative reform. Legal provisions that criminalise lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people put them beyond the protection of the law, fostering a climate of fear, stigma and violence. These provisions also violate constitutional and international human rights law, including a person’s right to dignity, equality, non-discrimination and privacy.
The Trust provides pro bono technical legal assistance and advisory services at the request of, and in collaboration with, local human rights defenders, their lawyers and other partners who wish to use the courts to challenge the laws that discriminate against and persecute LGBT people. Since our inception in 2011, we have worked with local partners in 21 countries in all regions of the world.
Of direct relevance to this role, the Trust also supports the legislative reform of laws that criminalise, discriminate against or fail to protect LGBT people and other vulnerable groups. Laws criminalising LGBT people in the Commonwealth are often part of a wider set of out-dated sexual offences and related laws that discriminate against and do not adequately protect women, children, LGBT people and other vulnerable groups, such as laws relating to rape, sexual assault and ages of consent. Many of these are rooted in colonial-era laws that have long since been reformed in the UK. Building on pan-Commonwealth legal analyses that the Trust has been spearheading since 2014, the Trust is delivering a programme of technical assistance to Commonwealth governments seeking to deliver legislative reform. The Lawyer (research) will work within this programme.
The current phase of our legislative reform programme runs to 31 March 2021.
Purpose of the post
This is an exciting opportunity for an outstanding and passionate lawyer, who will work closely with the Head of Legal and other Trust staff, stakeholders from civil society, the public sector, the pro bono legal community and international experts, to support the implementation of the Trust’s programme on legislative reform of laws across a range of Commonwealth countries in the Caribbean, Africa and the Pacific. The focus of this work is on sexual offences and hate crimes legislation. The purpose of the post is to support and manage various components of legal research within this programme, which include technical comparative legal research, particularly on matters of criminal law, across multiple common law jurisdictions.
This post will suit an experienced common law lawyer with a passion for human rights, equality and justice and an ability support and manage elements of a multi-faceted programme and to deliver high quality work to Commonwealth government and to civil society stakeholders.
The ideal candidate will therefore bring experience of managing, editing and ensuring high standards of quality control of comparative legal research in a criminal law context in common law jurisdictions.
Regrettably, as a consequence of the nature of the work that Trust carries out, Trust staff members are subjected to distressing critiques of LGBT identities and the Lawyer will have to tolerate this with tact and professionalism.
Full details of the post can be found on the attached job description or on our website here:
Please send a CV of no more than four pages along with a covering letter of no more than two pages explaining how you meet the criteria for this role and why you are an ideal candidate, to Christopher Price at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please note that due to the volume of applications we receive we are only able to contact those candidates who are shortlisted for an interview. Please only apply if you meet the essential criteria.
Closing date for applications:
Please note that applications will be considered on a rolling basis with a view to the earliest possible appointment, and the recruitment process will close as soon as we find the right candidate. Early submission of applications is encouraged.
Interviews will be held on a rolling basis at a time suitable to both the Trust and the short-listed applicants. Interviews may be held remotely as needed to accommodate the applicant’s location and/or social distancing guidelines.
If you meet the essential criteria, have a disability and would prefer to apply in a different format or would like us to make reasonable adjustments to enable you to apply or attend any interview, please let us know.
All offers of employment will be conditional on the candidate having/securing the right to work in the UK prior to their employment commencing.
The Human Dignity Trust is an equal opportunity employer. We are committed to diversity and inclusion, and we welcome applications from all suitably qualified persons. Our aim is to create a safe and secure working environment where a commitment to diversity, opportunity, quality and excellence is part of our guiding values.
Our employees and any job applicants will receive equal treatment regardless of age, disability (including HIV status), gender identity and expression, intersex status, marital or civil partner status, pregnancy or maternity, race, colour, nationality, ethnic or national origin, religion or belief, sex or sexual orientation.